Planning and Development

The main purpose of the Road Association is to maintain Welcomes and Uplands Roads. For this reason the Road Committee only becomes involved when a planning application is likely to have an adverse impact on the roads themselves. Please liaise with the KENDRA Planning Officer on planning applications or post your objection with reasons directly using the Planning Register on the Croydon Council web site. The Road Committee appreciate that there are a number of homes in the area that need updating but this should not mean that every square foot of the land they occupy should be built on leaving little parking space or other amenities. Every plan should include a large disabled parking space and somewhere for visitors to park – these are often glaring omissions and potentially would have an adverse impact on our roads.

The Council has been unsympathetic to pleas for more on site parking even when a site has a low PTAL (Parking Transport Accessibility Level) on the basis that cars are soon to be abandoned in preference for cycling and walking. This still has to be proved, so in the meantime, the Road Committee are keen to do their utmost to maintain the existing character and local distinctiveness of this ‘area of special interest’, as one Minister put it in the past.

WURA has proposed to Croydon Council that the WURA estate be given special consideration under Green Grid status but this has not found favour and has not proven to be a mechanism for ending the over development. The paper produced by the WURA secretary can be viewed here.

Do you need planning permission?

Just a quick reminder to members – do please check the need for planning permission before embarking upon any property alterations, extensions etc. There have been a few cases recently where retrospective planning permission has had to be applied for and this is not ideal for the applicant or neighbours who could be affected by the developments. There is also the question of the management of construction traffic and the need for an agreement with WURA to pay for the extra wear and tear from HGV traffic. Copies of revised standard agreements for contractors and developers can be viewed by clicking the first two links below (pdf documents):

Obligation of Care of Road Frontage

The roads must not be obstructed in terms of the Highways Act and this includes members’ frontages where hedges must be regularly cut back. Verges must also be maintained properly and not be allowed to become impassable as they are part of the highway and a refuge for pedestrians. Verges must never be obstructed by parked vehicles either.

Although the Highways Act 1980 doesn’t specify any actual measurements for overhanging vegetation, the requirement should be met by:

  • For pedestrian areas, minimum headroom of 2.3m (7ft 6 inches).
  • For carriageway and an area immediately adjacent to it (for a distance of 0.45m (1ft 6 inches)) minimum headroom of 5.2m (17ft).

In both cases, all the vegetation should be cut back vertically. For further guidance, please see here. Additional links from the government with advice on hedging and how to complain about high hedges.

Please remember that Welcomes Road in particular is a footpath and perhaps more like a country lane rather than an urban thoroughfare. Drainage can be poor so please ensure that the roadway at the front of each house is kept clear.

Developers

Before commencing any work, developers need to enter into a formal agreement with the Association regarding the conduct of building work and should contact  the Secretary before starting work on the site. An example agreement can be viewed from the link above.

There is an HGV road levy charged for use of our private roads during the building phase to compensate for wear and tear. Construction or logistical method statements are required which show the estimated tonnage and lorry movements to be expected. The current tariff can be viewed here. The Association reserves the right to alter the rates without notice or increase them if the projected HGV traffic is deemed to be excessive in the opinion of the Road Committee. It needs to be understood that Welcomes Road has no formal foundations or structure and as such is easily damaged by heavy lorries. In exceptional cases the Road Association would expect the users to make good the road at their expense.

Residents carrying out house extensions or extensive landscape work generating extra traffic should also expect to be asked by the Road Committee to contribute to the road fund to help finance the next resurfacing and repairs.